• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Swimming pool turns away Syrian asylum seekers
File photo of a swimming pool. Photo: Dushan Hanuska/Flickr

Swimming pool turns away Syrian asylum seekers

The Local · 1 Mar 2016, 17:03

Published: 01 Mar 2016 17:03 GMT+01:00

Yannick Hagmann, a 35-year-old who volunteers with asylum seekers, told Sonntags Blick that he took some Syrians to the pool in Meggen at the weekend, but the group were refused entry by staff.

Despite the pool being open, Hagmann says a lifeguard prevented them from entering. "He held a note from the parish under our noses which said that no more than three asylum seekers may use the pool at the same time," Hagmann told the newspaper.

The regulation - which also only allows asylum seekers access on two days each week - had in fact been in effect for three weeks before Hagmann's visit. The municipality stated the reason as "the size of the pool and the very limited space available".

Hagmann admits that at eight by 20 metres, the pool is relatively small. However, he likened the regulation to "the apartheid regime", saying: "It cannot be that a particular group of the population is excluded."

A law professor at Basel University, Markus Schefer, told 20 Minuten that the limit "contravenes the ban on discrimination in the Swiss Constitution and so could be illegal". He added that although limits can be placed on occupancy for safety reasons, "these should apply to everyone and not just asylum seekers".

Although the Swiss Constitution does not allow discrimination, the pool has been labelled a "sensitive zone" because it is within school grounds, meaning that special conditions may be applied.

Story continues below…

It's not the first time that swimming pools in Europe have caused a stir for preventing access to migrants. In January, a German town banned male asylum seekers from public swimming pools after complaints from women that they were being harassed by migrants.

And one month before that, France’s leading legal rights body was called in to investigate after it emerged that a swimming pool in Calais, where 4,500 refugees are camped out, had effectively banned them from entering by introducing ID checks.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Today's headlines
Swiss helicopter crash: technical fault ruled out
Two pilots died in the crash on the Gotthard pass. Photo: Michael Buholzer/AFP

Technical failure was not to blame for the crash involving a Swiss army helicopter on the Gotthard pass on Thursday.

Turkey angry after Swiss tout ‘kebab ban’
Is banning the burqa as 'foolish' as banning the kebab? Photo: Jason Ramos

Turkish kebab chefs are up in arms after they misunderstood a spoof campaign to ban the kebab in Switzerland.

Study: Swiss ski resorts are losing their snow
Snow was thin on the ground in Gstaad last December. Photo: The Local

Could spring skiing soon be a thing of the past?

UBS fined $15m for misselling investments
File photo: Martin Abegglen

The Swiss private banking giant is accused of selling risky derivative investments to inexperienced investors in the US.

Two dead in Swiss army helicopter crash
The crash happened near the hospice on the Gotthard pass. File photo: swiss-image.ch/Heinz Schwab

Two people died and one other was injured when a helicopter crashed on the Gotthard pass in the Swiss alps on Wednesday.

Bern wants Swiss women to work longer
File photo: Candida Performa

The lower house of parliament has voted to extend women's retirement age by one year to 65.

11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
The Swiss - don't make them wait in the cold. Photo: Lara de Salis

Swiss student Lara de Salis, currently studying in the UK, explains why she’s sick of hearing foreigners spouting these old clichés.

Switzerland still world’s ‘most competitive’ nation
Switzerland: still enjoying the view from the top. File photo: Robert Boesch

Switzerland has topped the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness ranking for the eighth consecutive year.

Swiss hunting season claims human lives
The hunting season started ten days ago. File photo: Umberto Nicoletti

Several hunters have died in accidents over the past few days.

Sacked Fifa executive hits back in Zurich court
Kattner was sacked in May. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Fifa's disgraced former secretary general Markus Kattner has begun legal action to challenge his "unjustified" sacking.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
National
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
National
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Politics
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Education
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Society
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Lifestyle
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
National
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Culture
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
National
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
National
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
Education
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
National
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Society
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Lifestyle
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
National
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
National
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
National
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
National
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
National
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
National
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
4,379
jobs available